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Santee Cooper continues to restore customers, repair damage



10/11/2016

<p>Santee Cooper line crews repair lines in Woodlake area in Murrells Inlet after Hurricane Matthew. Paul Zoeller/Santee Cooper</p>

Santee Cooper line crews repair lines in Woodlake area in Murrells Inlet after Hurricane Matthew. Paul Zoeller/Santee Cooper

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Flooded areas and fallen trees continue to challenge Santee Cooper transmission and distribution crews working to restore power to customers, but steady progress has marked the third day of restoration.

Utility and contract crews re-energized nine more transmission lines today, leaving 15 still out. Of those 15, just four directly impact wholesale customers, specifically three electric cooperatives. Since the effort began, Santee Cooper has re-energized more than 70 lines serving cooperatives, municipalities and industrial customers.

Distribution crews restored power to about 8,000 residential and commercial customers over the past 24 hours, leaving approximately 31,000 customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties still without electricity. At the peak of Matthew’s aftermath, 137,000 Santee Cooper customers were without power – more than twice the number who lost power after Hurricane Hugo.

“Our crews have worked hard and made great strides the past few days, restoring more than 100,000 retail customers and a significant part of our transmission system along the Grand Strand that was affected,” said Mike Poston, vice president of retail operations. “We are at the point now where we’re addressing the most difficult problems, where it’s hard to even reach the trouble spots. Our customers have been so supportive throughout this event, and I hope they will continue to be patient and know that we will continue to work around the clock until we’re done.”

“As our crews move through the restoration area, we are finding a massive number of trees on power lines, broken power poles and equipment that is broken or under water,” said Arnold Singleton, senior vice president of power delivery for Santee Cooper. “The loss of power creates hardships for everyone, and I understand that people are frustrated. Our crews will continue to give 110 percent until the job is done.”

Santee Cooper has approximately 900 people assessing and working on the lines, including line and tree crews from several states who are aiding Santee Cooper’s own crews.

There continue to be safety issues to residents and to line crews, especially concerning downed power lines and generators.

Please remember:

  • To ensure your safety and the safety of our line technicians, electric generators should be operated according to strict guidelines. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions completely. Never connect the portable generator to existing house wiring. Connect the generator directly to appliances. Operate generators outside; they emit harmful fumes and contain combustible fuel. Add fuel to the generator only when it is not running and has had time to sufficiently cool. Always properly ground the generator before operating. Refer to the owner's manual for specific instructions.
  • Never touch, drive over or try to move a downed power line or anything the line is touching. The line could still be live even if it doesn't appear to be energized. Call Santee Cooper at 1-888-769-7688 to report downed power lines. Customers can also report power outages at that number or at www.santeecooper.com/stormcenter.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's largest power provider, the largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina. To learn more, visit www.santeecooper.com